Welcome to our first issue of the Welcoming Committee Newsletter. We will be sending two newsletters. In these newsletters, we will try to answer most of your questions.
Hi, everyone! Welcome to Beirut! I've been Head of School of ACS for two years, and I'm looking forward to many more. My wife Linda and I felt like Beirut was home as soon as we arrived in the summer of 2021. We couldn't have been more warmly welcomed, and we've made great friends in the short time that we've been here.
Our three children are all in the States. George, our oldest, lives in Denver; our middle child, Grace, just graduated from university and is searching for her first job; and our youngest, Ceila, will be starting her sophomore year at Boston University.
I am originally from Boston, although I haven't lived there since going to graduate school at Tufts a long, long time ago. I was a history teacher for 18 years at different schools before getting my first head job at The American College of Sofia. I came to ACS after an 8-year stint as President of Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh and a 3-year stint at GEMS World Academy in Chicago. I enjoy cooking, trying to stay fit, hiking, and traveling. Lebanon is an amazing place to do all of these things.
High School Principal
Hello, and welcome to the ACS community! I'm sure you're going to love both the school and the city. The coming year will be my seventh at ACS and my fourth as the HS Principal as I have transitioned from my initial here roles as an English Teacher and as the HS Associate Principal. In the past I have served as a Principal in Cairo and have taught English at the University of Montana and at the American School of Sao Paulo and the American School of Bombay, among other places. Outside of work, I enjoy running and golfing, both of which are easy to do here.
When I arrived at ACS seven years ago, I felt welcome in the school community immediately and was at home in the city, too, as the school planned a full set of weekend activities to introduce new faculty to the various glories of Beirut and the surrounding areas. I look forward to enjoying these outings with you and to getting to know you in a professional capacity as we begin the new academic year.
Middle School Principal
My name is Mary Noble and I'm the MS Principal. This will be my second year at ACS Beirut. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all new hires. We are so excited to meet you! I've been in education nearly 30 years and have served in teacher leader and administrative roles in the States and in other international schools. Internationally, I've been in Thailand, Cairo American College, and most recently at the American School of Dubai. Domestically, I've served school communities in inner-city Detroit, Juneau, Alaska and Oregon. I currently have a home in beautiful Ashland, Oregon with my husband Gregg, and our pets. I have a daughter Asha, who is 22 and living in Portland, Oregon. I teach yoga and enjoy being outdoors and hiking, biking and working in the garden.
Elementary School Principal
Hi, my name is Jessica Brown and I am the Elementary Principal (Grades 3-5).
ACS is truly a wonderful group of caring and dynamic educators. It took very little time for me to feel like I was a part of the team and I am sure that you will feel the same.
I have been a teacher for 20 years, 10 of which have been overseas. The 2023-2024 school year will be my fifth in Beirut. When I am not at school, I am either trying to workout out or work on my Arabic. Lebanon is a wonderful place, and I am sure you will love it as much as I do.
Early Childhood Principal
Welcome to the Early Childhood Division at ACS!
You'll be a great addition to a team whose members are very professional, dynamic and passionate about children and their learning, and I trust that you are, too. Together we will embark on a learning journey as we dialogue and communicate to build relationships with children, parents and colleagues.
This journey will be joyful and we'll make sure that our EC vision "Nothing without Joy" for everyone is reflected in all our practices. I look forward to meeting you in August!
RANIA EL CHAAR
Lower School Assistant Principal
My name is Rania El Chaar. I am the Lower School Assistant Principal (N-5).
I am ecstatic to welcome you to ACS. I have been at ACS since 2009, I was a homeroom teacher in Elementary grades 2 and 3 for five years. Then moved to Early Childhood where I taught KG2 and first grade.
Currently, I am in my second year as the Lower School Assistant Principal, I bring a wealth of experience and passion to my role. Outside of my professional career, I am a proud parent to two wonderful children. My son is currently at the University of Kentucky, while my daughter is enjoying sixth grade.
ACS fosters a beautiful community of exceptional faculty and staff, and I am thrilled to welcome you into our family. As you embark on your new journey with us, I assure you that you will encounter a supportive and inspiring environment. I eagerly look forward to meeting each and every one of you in August, and I am confident that together we will achieve remarkable accomplishments.
Welcome, Bienvenue, أهلاً وسهلاً
The ACS community is a wonderful mix of people who are committed to working together to provide students a rich educational experience. As an educator, I am passionate about languages, exploring new methods of teaching, theater and arts. I believe that, for children to flourish, educators should engage them in a dynamic learning environment that nurtures their curiosity while making them feel happy and safe. This will reflect positively as well on our wellbeing as adults.
The coming year will be my 12th year at ACS. I look forward to meeting you in August and will be glad to show you Beirut, my city.
ATHLETICS AND ACTIVITIES DIRECTOR
Hello, my name is Martin Mugharbil, I am the Athletic & Activities Director at ACS. I have worked at ACS for 18 years as a PE/Health Teacher across all divisions. I love the outdoors and my latest hobbies are swimming, biking and running. I have participated in many triathlon events and I encourage all of you to "tri". My motto is stay active and healthy.
I'm looking forward to an amazing year ahead, filled with growth outside the classroom. The amount of learning that the students achieve by joining these activities is tremendous. I hope you have some hidden skills / talents whether on the field, drama room, music room, art room, etc. to share your expertise with our students. Helping them achieve their top potential outside the classroom.
I look forward to seeing returning faculty / staff and the new hires. I would like to welcome you all to our amazing country. Almost everyone that steps on ACS grounds / Beirut falls in love with it and would never want to leave.
Once here I encourage you to find the time to visit our beautiful country.
Director of Admissions
Welcome = Ahlan Wa Sahlan اهلا وسهلا to our caring ACS Community and our lovely country! Please do pass by the Admissions Office if you have children to enroll, or if you need advice about life in Lebanon or if you have a question about ACS. You will always get an answer with a smile as most of us in the Admissions Department are Lebanese and have been at ACS for more than 20 years.
Personally, I am a dedicated, detail-oriented and self-motivated person who can work under extreme pressure. My twin sons graduated from ACS and are now living in Europe, and I live with my husband in Beirut, and spend our summer time between our first granddaughter and our farm.
Next year will be my 36th year at ACS, and I will be looking forward to seeing you in August!
ZIAD EL HDARY
Director of Facilities and Opearations
Ahlan wa Sahlan! Welcome to ACS Beirut. My name is Ziad, and I'm the Director of Facilities and Operations.
After working for 12 years abroad, I joined the ACS community in 2013. I have three kids who are currently enrolled at the school – Ray (Gr. 6), Joe (Gr. 5) and Rhea (Gr. 2). I manage the department of facilities and operations which includes security and physical plant. We will be working closely together as you familiarize yourself with both your new home as well as the facilities inside your prospective division.
I look forward to working together in the fall!
Welcome to ACS Beirut, my name is Johnny Tanas. I look forward to meeting you in August to begin a new and exciting Academic Year.
I have been working at ACS for 26 years of which 15 years as a Business Manager. It is my second home and I love the environment and the diversity the school encompasses. Beirut is a great city to live in, a very cosmopolitan place that mixes history with modern life; and ACS has been part of this history for over 118 years. I know that you will love it like many before you who came from all over the world to work at ACS. Though Lebanon is going through hard times, we continue to work hard at providing our students and families the best education in the country.
Hopefully these difficult times will end soon, and better days will be ahead of us. Again, welcome to ACS and safe travels to Lebanon.
Development and Alumni Interim Director
Welcome to ACS Beirut! My name is Maya Mouhaidly, and I am the Development and Alumni Interim Director. I have been at ACS since 2010 and part of the D&A Team for the past 4 years. Our main goal as an office is to engage every single member of the community to move the school forward.
We are inspired by our core values and mission statement, which empowers students to solve problems with creativity and integrity, to lead well-balanced lives, and to serve Lebanon and the world community with understanding and compassion. I am really looking forward to collaborating with you all as we continue expanding different aspects of our ACS community.
JOCELYNE DIAB BITAR
Human Resources Manager
My name is Jocelyne Diab Bitar and I am the Human Resources Manager at ACS Beirut and the Chair of the Welcoming Committee.
I will be facilitating your transition to Beirut and to ACS. If you need anything just email me and I am more than happy to help.
I love Beirut and I know that you will love it too!
Director of Technology
Hello, and welcome to ACS Beirut!
My Name is Rashad Bittar and I am the Director of Technology. I have been working at ACS for 18 years now.
I live in Beirut with my wife Joanna and 2 amazing kids, Zoe 10 years old and John 5 Years old.
Currently ACS IT Department Team is 3, including myself (Haitham Marroush and Johnny Khawand). We are so excited to meet you in person once you arrive in Beirut, and we will be more than happy to have you join the ACS Community.
Allowances for all overseas hires will be received during the orientation week. This is the only money you will receive before the pay-day of September 30.
The cost of items in Beirut is comparable to what you would find in the States or European countries.
In Lebanon, both USD and Lebanese Pounds are accepted in all places.
You are entitled to ask for an advance on salary from the Business Office. It is expected that you may need to do this.
Whenever you are settled in Lebanon, you may forward your mail to either of the following addresses. People usually do not have mail delivered to their flat.
American Community School Beirut
PO Box 11- 8129
Riad El-Solh, Beirut, 1107-2260 Lebanon
This will get delivered to the school's PO Box; We empty the PO Box 2 to 3 times a week.
If you'd rather have it delivered to the school's post office station, simply use:
American Community School Beirut
67 Nigeria Street, Jal El-Bahr, Ras Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon 2035-8003
You may use the ACS NY Office address for important mail such as bank statements, financial statements, etc. Only small (5"x 9") light weight (up to 2 oz) envelopes are forwarded weekly via courier to Beirut. Bulk mail, parcels, catalogs, pamphlets, etc. will not be forwarded.
American Community School
3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 8th Floor
New York, New York 10017
There are services now that ship items to Lebanon for a charge. If you are an active online shopper, you can get your own Aramex box for a fee. Remember custom charges.
If you are an ACS Foreign Hire, please read the following carefully.
- ACS personnel cannot enter the baggage or passport area.
- Upon your arrival at the Beirut Airport, people with a work visa will get a work visa entry stamp on their passport. The work visa stamp fee is approximately US $40 and must be paid in cash. During orientation, you will be reimbursed upon presenting your receipt to HR.
- A school representative will await your arrival at the greeting area and will verify that a work visa stamp is complete on your passport.
- Please look for a sign that reads ACS and your name on it.
- Based on the work visa stamp on your passport, the process of granting your work and residence permit will take approximately 10 weeks after your first entry to Lebanon. During this time, you cannot make travel plans to leave the country.
- Medical tests will be completed with the assistance of the School Nurse and the Expat / Ministry Affairs Coordinator.
- Photos will be taken at school with the assistance of the Expat / Ministry Affairs Coordinator.
- Other legal documents will be provided by the school.
- Your passport and all other original documents will be attached to the residency application, submitted to the security office.
- The residency is usually issued within 10 working days. The count of days will start upon presenting the residency application to the General Security Office.
- The process of granting the work and residence permit will take approximately 10 weeks.
- During this time, your passport will be in the school safe and available for you to use when needed.
- Do not make travel plans to leave the country during this period of time. At any time during your stay in Lebanon, you need to have a valid residency to be able to leave the country and come back.
- Entry to Lebanon is not granted to people with passports showing Israeli visas or stamps.
Visa / Residency Requirements for Accompanying Dependents and/or Wives:
- In Lebanon, men may sponsor their non-working wives and children but women cannot sponsor non-working husbands. They can sponsor their children.
Visa / Residency Requirements for Dependents and Non-Working Wives are as Follows:
- US, Canadian and European citizens, and some other nationalities are offered a free tourist visa upon arrival at the Beirut Airport.
- An accompanying non-working wife and/or child(ren) will apply for a yearly residency after residency has been granted to the husband/father.
- The original marriage certificate is required for granting the residency of a non-working wife and the original birth certificate is required to obtain the residency for accompanying children.
We need your photo and a short introductory paragraph for our next issue.
Please note that entry to Lebanon is not granted to people with passports showing Israeli visas or stamps. If this applies to you, please get a new passport immediately.
Your first pay-check will be available on September 30, 2023.
New Hires' Orientation will be held on August 17 and August 18, 2023.
Empowering students to solve problems with creativity and integrity, to lead well-balanced lives, and to serve Lebanon and the world community with understanding and compassion.
American Community School Beirut
Beirut | 67 Nigeria Street, Jal El-Bahr
+961 (1) 374370